Covid-19 measures stripped Flemish cultural sector of jobs, report states

Covid-19 measures stripped Flemish cultural sector of jobs, report states
Credit: Belga

More than 1,500 jobs were lost in the Flemish cultural sector in 2020, according to a report by Flanders Statistics. The cultural sector in Flanders made it to the end of 2020 with only 45,536 jobs compared to 47,104 the year before. The decrease is due to the Covid-19 measures, the statistics office stated.

Between 2015 and 2019, the number of jobs remained stable at around 47,000. In 2020, there was a decrease in employment in the sector as a result of the health measures: between the end of 2019 and 2020, 1,568 jobs disappeared. The number of employers also decreased, from 5,629 to 5,609.

"In 2020, the largest share of cultural employment was in the education sector, followed by libraries, archives and museums,” the report says. “The printing companies, creative sectors, as well as arts and entertainment associations accounted for a share of more than 10% of cultural employment in 2020."

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The cultural sector was one of the sectors that was the hardest hit by the various measures brought in to fight the spread of COVID-19, with many cultural establishments having to keep their doors closed for months.

Employment in the sports sector also declined in the Covid-19 year of 2020. This is a decrease of 1,100 jobs (-6 percent) to 15,837 jobs. Due to the health measures, a number of sports were temporarily prohibited in 2020 and sports centres temporarily closed.

The decrease was mainly in sports clubs, fitness centres and the operation departments of sports facilities, the so-called "core products of sport". In 2020, these accounted for 71% of total employment in the sports sector. The remaining 29% is situated in the "supplied products" sector, such as sports shops.

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